Securities Mergers & Acquisitions Civil Procedure

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Supreme Court Confirms Limited Scope Of The Fair Dealing Covenant

This is another decision that confirms that the implied covenant that the parties will act in good faith and deal fairly with one another is not available to expand the parties’ contract rights. ...more

Court Of Chancery Upholds Primacy Of Purchase Price Adjustment Clause

The buyer’s rights under a stock purchase agreement sometimes seem in conflict. This decision resolves such a conflict by holding that under the terms of the agreement, the purchase price adjustment process trumps the buyer’s...more

Obligations Under Earn-Outs Are Limited to What the Words Say

The stockholders of Cyveillance, Inc., sold their company for $40 million up-front and a $40 million earn-out if the company’s revenues reached a certain level. Section 5.4 of the merger agreement prohibited the buyer from...more

Chancery Applies Contract Principles in Preferred-Shares Dispute

In Choupak v. Rivkin, C.A. No. 7000-VCL (Del. Ch. April 6, 2015), the Delaware Court of Chancery concluded after a trial that the defendant and counterclaim-plaintiff, Vladimir Rivkin, forged documents, lied about exercising...more

Southern District Allows SEC Insider Trading Case to Proceed, Distinguishing Newman

A recent decision from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York allowing a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) civil enforcement action to proceed against two former stockbrokers for...more

SDNY Denies Motion to Dismiss SEC Insider Trading Complaint Despite Newman Holding

The US District Court for the Southern District of New York recently denied two defendants’ motion to dismiss a Securities and Exchange Commission complaint alleging that they committed insider trading, holding that the...more

Court Decision Helps REITs Strategize for Successful Acquisitions in the Face of Shareholder Litigation

Decision of note for REITs contemplating asset acquisitions involving stock consideration that requires stockholder approval, even if the transaction does not effect a change-in-control. Background – Following...more

The Ropes Recap: Mergers & Acquisitions Law News - First Quarter 2015

In this issue: - News from the Courts - Chancery Court Denies Enforcement of Drag-Along Right in Transaction Where Notice to Minority Stockholders Improperly Provided After Majority Stockholder Approval...more

Fundamental Changes to Take-over Bid Regime One Step Closer With Release of Draft Amendments

On March 31, 2015, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) released draft amendments to Canada’s take over bid regulatory regime. As previously announced by the CSA in September 2014, the amendments will increase the...more

Halpin v. Riverstone National, Inc., C.A. No. 9796-VCG (Del. Ch. Feb. 26, 2015) (Glasscock, V.C.)

In this decision, the Court of Chancery granted a motion for summary judgment for minority stockholders asserting appraisal rights in a squeeze-out merger. The Court assumed, without deciding, that a common stockholder may...more

Fortis Advisors LLC v. Dialog Semiconductor PLC, C.A. No. 9522-CB (Del. Ch. Jan. 30, 2015) (Bouchard, C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery granted a motion to dismiss certain claims relating to a dispute over earn-out payments owed to the former equity holders of iWatt, Inc. (“iWatt”) following the sale of iWatt...more

Virtus Capital L.P. v. Eastman Chemical Co. et al., C.A. No. 9808-VCL (Del. Ch. Feb. 11, 2015) (Laster, V.C.)

In this decision, the Court of Chancery denied a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction brought by an individual that controlled the majority stockholders of a Delaware corporation, holding that the complaint...more

"Proposed DGCL Amendments to Address Fee Shifting, Forum Selection and Appraisal Proceedings"

On March 6, 2015, the Corporation Law Council of the Delaware State Bar Association announced proposed amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law (DGCL) intended to address fee shifting, forum selection and appraisal...more

Inside The Courts - March 2015 | Volume 7 | Issue 1

In This Issue: - U.S. SUPREME COURT: ..Gelboim v. Bank of Am. Corp., No. 13-1174 (U.S. Jan. 21, 2015) - DEMAND FUTILITY: ..Arduini v. Hart, No. 12-15750 (9th Cir. Dec. 17, 2014) - EXCHANGE...more

Court Of Chancery Limits Drag-Along Rights

Whether drag-along rights can preclude an appraisal action for common stock has not been decided in Delaware. Here, because the merger was completed before the drag-along rights were asserted, the Court did not have to...more

Colorado Supreme Court: Late Notice Inexcusable under Claims-Made Policies

Facts - In Craft v. Philadelphia Indemnity Ins. Co., 2015 CO 11 (Colo. Feb. 17, 2015), Craft was the principal shareholder and president of two entities to which Philadelphia issued claims-made directors and officers...more

McWane, Inc. v. Lanier, C.A. No. 9488-VCP (Del. Ch. Jan. 30, 2015) (Parsons, V.C.)

In this memorandum opinion, the Court of Chancery denied defendants’ motion to dismiss or stay for lack of personal jurisdiction. The Court held that a mandatory forum selection clause in a merger agreement controlled over a...more

Court Rejects “Merger Tax” Litigation Settlements That Benefit Primarily Plaintiffs’ Attorneys and Plaintiffs Who Do Not Represent...

It is no secret that when a public company announces a merger, lawsuits follow. There is nothing inherently wrong with this phenomenon. If the merger price is woefully unjustifiable or if shareholders are not given adequate...more

Delaware Court Examines Implied Covenant of Good Faith Related to Earn-Out

In Fortis Advisors LLC, as the equity representative v. Dialog Semiconductor PLC, the Delaware Court of Chancery examined the implied covenant of good faith in the context of an earn-out provision included in a merger...more

Recent Delaware Court of Chancery Decisions Address When A Non-Majority Stockholder Will Be Deemed a Controlling Stockholder

In three recent decisions, the Delaware Court of Chancery reiterated that under Delaware law, a large, though not majority, stockholder of a corporation will not be considered a controlling stockholder (with the attendant...more

Is It Worth It For Plaintiffs' Counsel To Gamble On Merger Class Actions in North Carolina?

I hadn't written anything yet about the multiple shareholder actions challenging the merger of PokerTek -- a developer and distributor of electronic table (gambling) games -- with Multimedia Games -- another developer and...more

Eighth Circuit Clarifies the Requirements for Cy Pres Distribution of Class Action Settlement Funds

Due to what it called a “substantial history of district courts ignoring and resisting circuit court cy pres concerns and rulings in class action cases,” the Eighth Circuit recently clarified the legal principles surrounding...more

“Appraisal Arbitrage” Receives Boost from Delaware Court of Chancery

An increasingly popular hedge fund strategy, commonly referred to as “appraisal arbitrage,” recently received a significant boost from the Delaware Court of Chancery. Appraisal arbitrage refers to the practice of buying...more

Delaware Chancery Court Concludes Indemnification and Other Provisions of a Merger Agreement Are Not Enforceable Against...

In November, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a decision that raises troubling questions about commonly used techniques in private company acquisitions and that, if not modified on appeal or through legislation, could...more

Delaware Court Rules That Beneficial Stockholder May Seek Appraisal in Its Own Name

On January 5, the Delaware Court of Chancery ruled that a beneficial stockholder has standing to bring an action for appraisal in its own name when the record stockholder’s actions have perfected the right of appraisal. The...more

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